Top Critic Average
It's exciting to play an MMO that understands the importance of building a world worth living in, not just erecting a corridor of static set pieces to run through on your quest for power.
Although elements of the game can become repetitive or frustrating, Black Desert Online does provide a staggering amount of content and is well worth considering if you're looking to try out a new MMORPG.
And conquer I shall, even if for the first time in so many years, a MMORPG finally restored that sense of awe and adventure that I thought irremediably lost. For the first time in almost a decade, the world of a game finally managed to make me feel small again, and boy, this feels so good.
Listen, I've rambled on for about 1500 words here, and several thousand more in preceding weeks. You don't need me to tell you any more about this game than what you can learn by simply picking it up. I will say this though: so many of us here clamor for something new and unique to hit the market. It's here now. Black Desert Online is one of the freshest takes on the MMO in years, and it deserves to be played.
Black Desert is a game that after 3 years is more alive than ever, with new game modes, and a renewed technical aspect that will please both new and veterans.
Review in Spanish | Read full review
A gorgeous world that feels truly alive, Black Desert Online is a solid entry into the sandbox subgenre of MMOs. Benefiting from having been launched in a major market for a year before coming to the West, it offers an open world to explore, and an especially deep tradeskill and trading system mixed with an action-oriented combat scheme.
I am still playing, which is always a key for games, and will be reporting more when I hit end-game and see what's available. There will always be more to do in the Black Desert.
It combines high-quality textures, voice acting (albeit not that great), action combat, an expansive world and open-ended leveling with a major focus on player interaction. Instead of trying to reinvent the MMO, Black Desert Online has focused on things that work for other games and it puts a fresh spin on them.
Black Desert Online has the potential to be a truly legendary MMORPG. There are so many interesting elements to it, each of which could provide you with many hours of enjoyment.
Black Desert Online succeeds as a sandbox massively multiplayer online game with deep character customization, and a combat system that rivals most action oriented games. The world feels alive, and is a visual marvel as well, just don't expect anything revolution regarding story telling.
Black Desert Online is the most refreshingly unique MMO around. Introducing many new game mechanics and ways to play in a world that's so exquisitely designed, with characters, building, monsters and even the weather all working together to make the best looking MMO to have ever been released, BDO is only really let down by the game's unwillingness and/or inability to properly explain its mechanics. The post-launch updates have been great so far and there's no reason to think the game won't keep improving.
Black Desert Online struggles with many of the weak points unique to MMORPGs, but rewards resilient players with unique, fascinating role-playing systems. If you're looking for a new MMO, Black Desert Online is well worth a try.
Black Desert does a lot right but a lot of it is hard to experience with little to no tutorial and technical issues that never really let up. It's clear that the current generation of console just isn't quite up to handling a game of this magnitude, but even so Black Desert provides an epic and frequently beautiful MMORPG experience.
Black Desert is a beautiful looking game with plenty to offer, it just has a bit of a learning curve and some rather annoying design choices. In a lot of ways, I could see it being a fun game you casually play and enjoy with a friend or your guild, but it doesn't seem to have the same inviting feeling Final Fantasy XIV or ESO have. This is a shame, though a lot of things can be fixed with patches. Plus, the core concept is at least fun enough to make it worth the initial investment.
Black Desert Online is impressive on the technical standpoint, and sets a new standard for MMOs. On the other side the character progression is heavily based on grinding and the structure is complex and somehow overwhelming. The game has a well designed gameplay and a solid endgame; the fans of the genre should definitely give it a try!
Review in Italian | Read full review
An absolutely beautiful MMO from developer Pearl Abyss. The beauty is backed by a complex sandbox MMO that offers a lot of freedom, but doesn't explain its systems to players all that well. If you're into starting up a second fantasy life and have the time to spend learning the mechanics, Black Desert Online might be the game for you.
Despite my reservations, I can't wait to jump back into Black Desert Online. Its tight combat, numerous tradecrafts, and extensive setting have left me hooked. If you're craving something new over the well-traveled roads of many other MMOs, you owe it to yourself to give Black Desert a deeper look. But if dungeons, raids, and the treadmill of increasingly impressive loot are what you're looking for, then you'll have to look elsewhere.
If you can get past its flaws, Black Desert will reward you with a gorgeous game world and some incredible combat, but poor tutorials, repetitive missions, a messy interface, and the odd set of bugs stop it from being anything more than average.
Black Desert is rougher than a badger's behind, and the simple combat won't blow anyone's skirt up, but the game does have upsides. The world is fleshed out and fun to explore, the side activities are more amusing than the campaign, and the character creation is superb. This is the sort of game that will undoubtedly appeal to a small subset of people who are more than happy to accept the uglier technical issues as the admission price to a well realised world full of things to do.
As someone who generally enjoys mindless grinding, there was some comfort in making my way through Black Desert’s massive landscape. But when there are other options that feel more polished, thoughtful, and creative, it’s hard to recommend Black Desert unless the absence of a subscription fee is a key factor.
Ultimately, Black Desert on PS4 is very user-friendly, and looks fantastic when running at a premium performance level. But while Black Desert’s aesthetic prowess and customizable sandbox experience is an achievement in the world of MMOs, it’s not a game that offers enough enticement in the minute-to-minute gameplay — or even in the grander, month-to-month scope of things — to leave me thirsty for more.
Overall, Black Desert Online is a typical MMO in every single way. While I disagree with their claim that it's the “next generation” of MMOs, I did find the character creation to be the most robust of any MMO out there. Unfortunately, the character customization is the game's biggest highlight, and many of the other elements of Black Desert Online can be found in many other MMOs.
Black Desert Online wants to be distinct from other MMORPGs, but it isn't different enough in the ways which really matter. The game's few innovations aren't enough to make up for its myriad shortcomings, making it come across as just another MMORPG.
These console versions – at least the PS4 Pro Enhanced version I’ve been reviewing – have been heavily struggling under its mighty weight, and perhaps needed a little more optimisation before it launched out in the world of the sofa dwelling controller types.